Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 11, 2019


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 11, 2019

On June 11, 1776, the Continental Congress appointed Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Roger Sherman of Connecticut and Robert R. Livingston of New York to draft a declaration of independence from Britain. Language in the original draft that condemned the introduction of the slave trade in the colonies did not make the final draft.

Abraham Baldwin, founder of the University of Georgia, arrived in Philadelphia on June 11, 1787 to attend the Constitutional Convention. Baldwin was joined by three other delegates, William Few Jr., William Houston, and William Pierce; Baldwin and Few would sign the Constitution on behalf of Georgia.

On June 11, 1963, President John F. Kennedy issued proclamation 3542 ordering Governor George Wallace of Alabama to allow two African-American students to register at the University of Alabama, as ordered by a federal court.

On the morning of June 11, the day the students were expected to register, Wallace stood in front of the University of Alabama campus auditorium flanked by Alabama state troopers while cameras flashed and recorders from the press corps whirred. Kennedy, at the White House, and Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, in Tuscaloosa, kept in touch by phone.

When Wallace refused to let the students enter for registration, Katzenbach phoned Kennedy. Kennedy upped the pressure on Wallace, immediately issuing Presidential Proclamation 3542, which ordered the governor to comply, and authorizing the secretary of defense to call up the Alabama National Guard with Executive Order 11111.

That afternoon, Katzenbach returned with the students and asked Wallace to step aside. Wallace, knowing he was beaten, relented, having saved face with his hard-line, anti-segregation constituency.

On June 11, 1986, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was released.

[T]he most memorable performer may have been an automobile: the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California, a custom-built car revered by auto collectors.

According to Motor Trend, the first Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California—colloquially known as the “Cal Spyder”—was produced in 1957 and the last was built in early 1963. In addition to the long-wheelbase (LWB) Spyder, Ferrari also produced a sportier, short-wheelbase (SWB) model. Though estimates vary as to exactly how many were made—Cameron says “less than a hundred” in the film—approximately 46 LWB and between 50 and 57 SWB Spyders were produced in all. For “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” the filmmakers used a modified MGB roadster with a fiberglass body as a stand-in for the Ferrari. The filmmakers reportedly received angry letters from car enthusiasts who believed that a real Ferrari had been damaged.

One 1961 250 GT SWB Spyder California, with chassis number GT 2377GT, belonged to the actor James Coburn (“The Magnificent Seven”), who died in 2002. On May 18, 2008, at the second annual Ferrari Leggenda e Passione event at Maranello, Italy, the British deejay Chris Evans bought that car at auction for 6.4 million Euros, or $10,894,400 (including fees), the highest price ever paid for an automobile at auction.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement and the Georgia Department of Education held listening sessions statewide, according to the Albany Herald.

“My office is committed to working with state, local and federal partners to ensure a world-class education for our children and put Georgia students first,” Kemp said in a news release. “On this tour, I was honored to meet with and learn from educators, students, superintendents and local officials. Together, we were able to celebrate a truly historic legislative session with the largest teacher pay raise in state history, $69 million in school safety funding, and a doubled investment in mental health support for students.”

State School Superintendent Richard Woods said the tour generated valuable feedback.

“It was an honor to partner with Gov. Kemp, the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, and the 16 RESAs on this statewide tour,”” Woods said. “I am grateful to the many local superintendents, board members and educators who took the time to share their feedback, as well as the State Board of Education members and members of the General Assembly who participated.” [said Woods]

“We will now review the comments and plan for the future. It is an exciting time for Georgia to have the Governor’s Office, GOSA, and GaDOE working together with a clear focus on supporting our students and teachers. We have a great opportunity to accelerate the positive direction that public education has taken within our state.”

Daniel Merritt announced he will run as a Republican against U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Pooler), according to The Brunswick News.

“I want to be a representation of every single person here. I want to make this entire district better than where I found it, and I have a track record of success in the military, in business, and I think that’s going to easily translate into a track record of success in politics,” Merritt said at a meeting Monday of the Golden Isles Republican Women. “I’m a pro-gun, pro-Trump, pro-wall conservative Republican, and I’m proudly running for Georgia’s 1st District.”

As to why Republican voters should choose a different option in 2020, Merritt said one reason is to get a new approach.

“I can bring a fresh look at how we do things in Washington,” Merritt said. “I think part of the problem, and part of the gridlock, and part of the same ‘this is how we do things’ over and over and over again — I’m not saying there’s not progress, what I’m saying is that there’s gridlock. And the way that we’ve been doing things is not working.”

The last time Carter faced primary opposition was when he ran for the open seat in 2014 — he took 36.2 percent in leading the original primary field, and won the runoff against Bob Johnson with 53.8 percent of the vote.

The Whitfield County Commission voted to create an advisory panel for a 2020 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

In April, commissioners heard from Floyd County Commission Vice Chairman Wright Bagby and that county’s manager, Jamie McCord, about that county’s process for developing a SPLOST.

For Floyd County and its two municipalities — Cave Spring and Rome — a citizens group makes the final decisions on what projects are presented to voters for each SPLOST. The committee members are selected by the three government bodies, and there are no elected officials on the committee. Proposals for projects are made by the governments and also by private citizens, and the committee members evaluate all proposals before coming up with a final list of projects.

The Whitfield committee won’t have the same powers.

Board Chairman Lynn Laughter said elected officials have a responsibility to make the final decision on which projects will be placed before voters.

Instead, commissioners and the councils of each of the four cities in Whitfield County — Dalton, Cohutta, Tunnel Hill and Varnell — will each develop lists of projects to be funded and bring them to the advisory committee, which will discuss the projects and make recommendations. Then each of the local governments will put together a final list to be placed on the ballot.

The Valdosta Board of Education was recognized as a Georgia School Boards Association 2019 Quality School Board , according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

The  Savannah-Chatham County public school system says two public charter schools are liable to reimburse the system, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The board voted 8-1 at its regular meeting June 5 to require Savannah Classical Academy and Coastal Empire Montessori Charter School to repay a total of $982,000 to the school district over the next two years because their 2018-19 enrollments were lower than budgeted.

Savannah Classical Academy will have two years to return to the district $591,953, due to a mid-year adjustment in revenue tied to enrollment. The school’s enrollment declined last summer, after the fiscal 2019 budget process, largely because the Georgia Department of Education put an enrollment moratorium into effect. The Department of Education lifted the moratorium just before school opened after the school’s Georgia Milestones Assessment System scores improved dramatically from the prior year, but it was too late to recover from the enrollment decline.

“I’ll just say I’m disappointed in their decision,” Savannah Classical Academy Director Barry Lollis said Friday about the school board’s decision. The board’s vote came after months of a “should we or shouldn’t we” discussion about whether the charters should be forgiven, or “held harmless” from, the funds some insisted the schools owed the district due to enrollment declines.

Coastal Empire Montessori Charter School is expected to return $390,593 to the district over the next two years because its enrollment declined when it dropped a class.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the death of a federal inmate in the Chatham County Jail, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Brunswick City Council discussed the coming year’s budget and the cost of city council elections, according to The Brunswick News.

Three candidates for Flowery Branch City Council spoke to the South Hall Republican Club, according to the Gainesville Times.

Lilburn City Council adopted a FY 2020 budget that includes pay raises, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The budget includes four funds: the $8.29 million General Fund, which covers operations and personnel; the $2.59 million Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax Fund; the $1.37 million Capital Projects Fund; and the $75,000 Confiscated Assets Fund.

Overall, the city’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year is up about 4.7% from the approved budget for the current fiscal year, which ends later this month.

A key part of the budget is a 4% cost of living increase for all Lilburn employees to make starting salaries for city jobs — particularly police officer positions — more attractive, City Manager Bill Johnsa told the council. A pay-for-performance salary increase of up to 2%, depending on an individual employee’s performance, was also included in the budget.

“The bulk of the (budget) increase is 4% and 2% salary increases,” Johnsa said.

The Hall County Board of Education adopted a $108.2 million dollar FY 2020 budget, according to AccessWDUN.

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